The Hot Blog Archive for August, 2007

Telluride Hum

So, the word up here is that people are a bit disappointed with the list of films up here this year. And all I can say is….
Get Used To It!
We are entering the fall season of films and there will be plenty of quality… but not so much excitement in terms of celebrity or “big” movies. This “problem” is equally evident at Toronto. And it will be an ongoing issue through the entire season.
Here in Telluride, at least before the TBAs start landing, the only films that are high profile enough to get attention from the more casual film lovers are The Diving Bell & The Butterfly, I’m Not There, Into The Wild, and Margot At The Wedding.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be a great festival, only that it isn’t a high profile year for indie film. There are also a bunch of films that just aren’t going to show themselves yet, even though they are ready, like Things We Lost In The Fire, American Gangster, and the Venice and NY Film Fest bound The Darjeeling Limited.
Myself, I am looking forward to docs from Barbet Schroeder, Kevin MacDonald, and Werner Herzog, a new film from Anand Tucker, who some people think is a genius, and a wide array of little seen Indian films.
If there is a signature on this year’s fest from the reconfigured/new team, it is a number of Friends Of Telluride films, including Todd McCarthy’s doc on Pierre Rissient, a Norman Lloyd doc, a doc on Peter Sellars, and a worthy, but local guest director in Edith Kramer from Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive.
Things kick off tonight… and away we go…

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Telluride's Content Press Release

Telluride, CO (August 30, 2007) – The Telluride Film Festival (August 31-September 3), presented by the National Film Preserve and Apple, announces its program for the 34th Telluride Film Festival. Celebrating the best in film, past, present and future, from all around the globe, the Festival kicks off another exciting weekend packed with tributes, features, documentaries, shorts, conversations and panel discussions. The Festival opens Friday, August 31 and runs through Monday, September 3.
The Festival will pay tribute to three film luminaries including Daniel Day-Lewis, who captivated filmgoers with his performances in ROOM WITH A VIEW, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING and GANGS OF NEW YORK, and will be seen next in his much-anticipated role in Paul Thomas Anderson

Into The Telluride

A confluence of events has led to no prior posting today, but I am now in Telluride… it’s beautiful… and the list of films has been posted by the festival. (This year, no one got to jump the gun. The festival released the list and all coverage followed.)
I will start running it all down later tonight. In the meantime, I leave you with this…
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Noah Catch-Up

Who Will Be… The Next Scorsese?
About seven and a half years ago, Esquire Magazine asked five film critics to nominate a young director to answer the question, “Who is the next Scorsese?” The man himself even offered up his own nomination.
Let us take a look at the filmmakers nominated by Esquire seven years ago, what they did to earn their nominations, and what they have done in the years since.

Ten Movies To Keep An Eye On This Fall
What follows is my list of the ten films that I think will be worth seeing, for one reason or another (in order of release):
I

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Sorry…

It’s a travel prep day… been getting ready for a few weeks away in Telluride & Toronto…
Make yourself at home… pick some well spiritied fights… new entries soon…

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Cheney's Next Gig

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More from Worth1000

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A Monster Musical

Some of the remake shows, including the jukebox musicals, reach well beyond their roots. The Lion King does. So does Jersey Boys. And of course, The Producers. For me, Spamalot is the example of where the line is clearest. The show is at its best when it uses the Python movie as a starting point for its wonderful musical hall style humor, way off the narrative. The show is at its worst when pandering to the audience that is expecting to see

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Owen Wilson

I am not really interestes in covering the Owen Wilson story… sad if it’s truly what’s been reported.
However, I am fascinated by the dance between The National Enquirer, where the news apparently broke, The Star, which followed, Perez Hilton, who some credited with the story, even though he was quoting the editor of The National Enquirer, and TMZ.com, who seems to have added nothing but (and I have no idea if they were first to get it) a non-comment comment from the police.
At the moment 47 stories come up on Google on the subject and looking through a few, each outlet covering the covering is bending into all different directions when sourcing the info.
Defamer even posted the extremely rare weekend post, in its case, crediting The Star and not the others at all.
Nice to have a competition in which I hope everyone loses.

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More Sweeney Teasing

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Sea Attle

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Sunday Estimates by Klady – Aug 26

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Greetings From Seattle

Seattle’s weather finally turned into “Seattle weather” after a couple of beautiful, sunny days here in the Emerald City. This is the first time I have visited the city (as an adult) apart from the Seattle International Film Festival and thus, the first time with a rental car and thus, a very different and more beautiful experience.
Still, Salumi is easily within walking distance from the hotel and the smoked meat and mozzarella (and more) dive owned and operated by Mario Battali’s dad is one of the great lunch experiences you could ever ask for. Truly spectacular… even worth standing on line for… and the line was still 15 deep at 2:30 in the afternoon. (Unfortunately, they are only open Tues-Fri, so no repeat visit this trip.)
The purpose of the journey was to see Young Frankenstein, which happened last night. Going back for another look on Sunday, so details on Monday. But one of the most interesting highlights of the evening, for me, was noticing Bob & Harvey Weinstein sitting at the other end of my row, on their own (meaning it was a business trip), a day after the official Seattle opening

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Friday Estimates by Klady – 8/25

Not a very exciting weekend at the box office.
Superbad is holding ok, considering the First-Friday-to-Second phenomenon. Sony can be as precious as they like with this weekend

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End Of An Era?

When I got a note from a friend who noticed that Ebert & Roeper had changed their internet address, plugged at the end of each show, from ebertandroeper.com (or whatever more detailed URL it was) to atthemoviestv.com, a variation on an old incarnation of the Siskel & Ebert show, I decided to shut up and see what happened before opining on what it might mean. After all, I have been accused in some quarters in having a vested interest in the show, I have a longstanding respectful friendship with Roger, and I know that comments I have made about the future of the show in the past were met with discomfort by some of those involved.
But it has been my position, since the hire of Richard Roeper six years ago, that Disney was making bad decisions along the road that diminished the show and its value as a warm center to Roger

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The Brave One… For Them

Watching Fracture, for the first time in my experience of watching Ryan Gosling work, I wonder whether he is, indeed, lacking the skills to be the biggest movie star in the world. Or maybe he has to decide, as Madonna never did, to let it go on screen when it is not a hard ass indie. I mean, he was painfully lacking charm in this film while he leaked it all over Half Nelson in what looked like absolute effortlessness

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The Hot Blog

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin